Hour of Power
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The program was founded and first hosted by Robert H. Schuller. It is currently hosted by Bobby Schuller, who is Robert H. Schuller's grandson and the son of Robert A. Schuller, himself a former host. It has also been hosted by Sheila Schuller Coleman, a daughter of Robert H. Schuller.
The program is normally one hour long, but some networks broadcast an edited 30 minute program. It features a large congregation, mostly Christian music with a choir (with an orchestra as well as the Crystal Cathedral organ as of March 2012) and guests who speak about how God and their Christian faith have changed their lives for the better.
The program first aired in 1970 as a church service of the Garden Grove Community Church. It was originally hosted by the elder Schuller; the younger Schuller hosted it from 2006 to 2008.
On July 9, 2008, the presidency of the church was shifted from the Robert H. Schuller to his son-in-law Jim Coleman. On October 26, 2008, it was announced that Schuller had removed his son, Robert A. Schuller, as teaching pastor, but allowed him to remain as the Crystal Cathedral's senior pastor. Robert H. Schuller said that he wanted to take the ministry in a different direction and for the foreseeable future would use guest speakers for the weekly services rather than his son. Well-known speakers who were used in the early stages of the new format included Lee Strobel, John C. Maxwell, and Bill Hybels. On November 29, 2008, the church announced that the younger Schuller had resigned.
On March 10, 2012, it was announced that Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, would be leaving the church. The following day their elder daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, announced at the morning service that she would also be leaving the church, therefore cutting all family ties with the Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power, stating that "This is the last Sunday we will be worshiping in this building." The ministry's successor, the Rev. Bill Bennett, said that the ministry would continue but using a more traditional service. In June 2012, the Rev. Bobby Schuller, the son of Robert A. Schuller, started preaching on a voluntary basis. In February 2013, Bobby Schuller was named as pastor for the Hour of Power. The Crystal Cathedral congregation was renamed Shepherds Grove in 2013 and relocated to another property soon after.
The program airs in the United States mainly using paid programming time on Lifetime, the Trinity Broadcasting Network/The Church Channel, Oxygen, WE tv, and Ion Television in many markets, along with about 100 stations through individual contracts. The program also airs over the American Forces Network.
In Canada it is carried on VisionTV.
In the Middle East it is carried on METV in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
It is broadcast in New Zealand on the Prime network.
It is broadcast in Hong Kong on ATV World.
The Hour of Power telecast, filmed in the Crystal Cathedral’s main sanctuary, at one point attracted 1.3 million viewers from 156 countries.
Video streams of the Hour of Power are also provided on its website.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the ministry struggled financially after it borrowed money to build a visitors' center.
2008 revenues for the program were nearly $5 million lower than revenues for 2007. As of early 2009, the church planned to sell more than $65 million worth of its Orange County property to pay off debt: 150 acres (0.61 km2) in San Juan Capistrano, California, and an office building in Garden Grove, California.
- Sam Quinones (October 26, 2008). "Schuller ousts son from show; He cites a ‘lack of shared vision’ on the future of the ministry, which he had handed over less than three years ago". Los Angeles Times.
- "Family spat divides televangelism empire; 'Hour of Power' church struggling due to recession, change in leadership". Associated Press. January 31, 2009.
- Wahba, Phil (October 18, 2010). "Televangelist Schuller's megachurch files for Ch 11". Reuters.
- "Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy". The Associated Press.
- Los Angeles Times: "Crystal Cathedral divided as Schullers leave, changes planned", March 12, 2012.
- "Hour of Power pastor Robert Schuller retiring". The Star (Toronto). July 11, 2010.
- Deepa Bharath (January 25, 2009). "Crystal Cathedral to move on without a Schuller". The Orange County Register.
- Ron Rokhy (30 June 2013). "Crystal Cathedral holds last service before relocating". NBC Southern California. NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
The Crystal Cathedral, which sold its campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2011 due to financial troubles, held its final service on Sunday before swapping facilities with a nearby Catholic sanctuary.